US accuses Chinaof provoking Philippines
Washington (AFP) - The United States criticized China as provocative Monday after its coastguard tried to block a Philippine vessel that was rotating troops in the tense South China Sea.
The attempted Chinese blockade, which ledto a two-hour standoff with the Philippine ship, is "a provocative anddestabilizing action," State Department deputy spokeswoman Marie Harf toldreporters.
Harf said that the Philippines had permission to resupply troops tothe remote reef, the Second Thomas Shoal, because it has kept a naval presencethere since before a 2002 declaration of conduct in the South China Sea.
Marie Harf称，菲律宾拥有在偏远岩礁Second Thomas Shoal重新补给军队的权利，因为菲律宾在2002年之前就在中国南海有海军存在
"As a treaty ally of the Republic ofthe Philippines, the United States urges Chinato refrain from further provocative behavior by allowing the Philippines to continue to maintainits presence at Second Thomas Shoal," she said.
Marie Harf说，“作为菲律宾协约盟友，美国敦促中国克制进一步的挑衅行为，应该让菲律宾保持在岩礁Second Thomas Shoal的存在”
The incident was the latest in the SouthChina Sea, where Chinaclaims a vast area that overlaps with several neighbors' claims.
On March 9, Chinasuccessfully turned away a similar resupply boat from the Philippines.
The United States has been warning Chinaagainst taking more drastic action in the South China Sea after it declared anair defense identification zone in November over much of the East China Sea,including islands administered by Japan.